When the exciting news arrives that a baby is on the way, planning a nursery is one of the most fun preparation activities for soon-to-be parents.
Over the course of a 24-hour period, newborns typically sleep 14 to 19 of those hours, so it’s important to have a place where they can get their rest undisturbed by the other goings-on in your home. Typically, this means baby is going to need a room all to themselves.
When making the leap from a guest room or home office to a nursery, it’s important to keep things simple and to consider how the room will need to evolve in 10 or even 20 years’ time. Sticking to classic colours that will endure through one or more transitions is one of the simplest approaches to start off your scheme. When making the move from an all-neutral room, adding a new wall colour doesn’t mean that it has to be everywhere. Painting the room in a more saturated hue up to dado height may be all that is needed, In this room the upper portion of the walls is painted in Resene Helix and the lower portion is in Resene Artemis.
It’s not a bad idea to begin with a fairly neutral base as other hues will present themselves through the myriad of accessories, toys, charts, pictures, pin boards and other decorations that you’ll be layering into the space. By the time you hang things from the ceiling, put artwork in frames, add in a colourful pendant light and some age-appropriate drapery, there will be plenty going on. The subtle silvery blue-green hues, Resene Helix and Resene Artemis, on the walls of this space add a bit of colour and interest but work just as well as a classic neutral.
If you do have your heart set on a particular wall colour, however, you should go for it – it only takes a day or two to repaint – but keeping the often expensive flooring and window treatments neutral will save you in the long run. Just remember, children tend to outgrow traditional baby hues early, so you might find yourself repainting over these choices sooner rather than later. We chose to paint this timber floor in Resene Walk-on tinted to Resene Poured Milk to add a sense of levity to the space while protecting it from spills. If your little one gets a little too creative and starts to colour outside the lines, it’s quick and easy to give the floor a fresh coat of paint to clean them up.
When you’re ready to pick up the roller, remember that paying proper attention to preparation is one of the most important things you can do from the outset. That means no painting over old wallpaper or layers of old paint. Start with as clean a slate as possible and seek advice for the appropriate finishes as these are going to be surfaces that will ring in changes over many years. Good initial preparation will allow you to layer up colour as time goes on with little effort.
When it comes to furniture, the nursery stage is a great time to take it easy, but once you hit the ‘incredible years’ – ages three to six – and beyond, you can start to get creative. Upcycling old furniture such as painting an old set of drawers in brighter colours, or even just their handles, can instantly transform a room.
Styling by Gem Adams. Photography by Melanie Jenkins. 2019
Colour inspiration gallery
Get inspired with colour and the latest decorating and colour trends! Select just the right look and mood for your space.
Love and whimsy
The primary school years are a delight
Decorating a teen’s bedroom